You Are Her Hope
In Russian, her name means “hope.” That’s what 84-year-old Nadezhda tells us. Her mother, a doctor in Russia, named her that after losing her first child.
The earliest memories that Nadezhda has are from before World War II began. “It was a good time,” she says, “I guess everybody likes their childhood.”
But that precious Jewish girl’s childhood was soon interrupted. Despite having tuberculosis, Nadezhda’s father was conscripted. Her mother worked day and night as a surgeon as the war raged, and Nadezhda’s grandmother struggled to raise the girl amid all of the danger.
Nadezhda survived the Holocaust, even accompanying her mother to the field hospital to entertain the wounded and dying. But many of her relatives did not survive. Her grandfather and aunt died at Babi Yar, her family not untouched by the Nazis’ hateful reach.
After the war, Nadezhda fought communist anti-Semitism, first when it kept her from becoming a teacher, then when it tried to keep her from a career in engineering.
But Nadezhda had hope and persevered. And she still has hope, this woman who has been married to her husband for over sixty years. This woman who has volunteered at the local IFCJ Canada-supported Chamah, teaching her community’s Jewish children of their biblical heritage. And this woman, whose name means hope, has found hope in her golden years from Fellowship friends who provide food and friendship.